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Mold of a heron or phoenix

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Carved in fine white limestone, this plaque carved in sunk relief served as a mold. The image represents a squatting heron, known by the Egyptians as a benu bird. The benu, associated with rebirth, was the origin of the mythical phoenix.


From Giza, pit 7641 C. 1925: excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of Egypt. (Accession date: January 19, 2005)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition

Egyptian, Late Period, Dynasty 25–30, 760–332 B.C.


Giza, Egypt


Height x width x thickness: 14.7 x 14.3 x 3.3 cm (5 13/16 x 5 5/8 x 1 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique



The Ancient World


Tools & equipment, Molds